Fitness testing as a debated and contested PE-for-health practice

Laura Alfrey, Dillon Landi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

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Fitness testing is arguably the most contested Physical Education-(PE)-for-health practice, especially in countries such as England, Australia and the United States of America. The testing of children within PE can be traced back to at least the early twentieth century, but approaches to teaching in, through and about fitness testing continue to be debated. Such debates, for example, relate to educative purpose (i.e. the tendency to focus on fitness testing in isolation as opposed to being embedded within a broader fitness education unit), the placing of students ‘on display’ (i.e. so that it is very clear who the higher and lower performers are) and the presentation and use of test results. One way to respond to the debates related to fitness testing is to expand how we think about fitness testing. That is to say, instead of focussing on ‘what the body is’ (e.g. underweight, flexible, strong) we can focus on ‘what the body can do’ (i.e. culturally, psychologically, socially and physically). Doing so, aligns more closely with contemporary and multi-dimensional understandings of health, and opens up opportunities for more inclusive and educative fitness testing, and PE-for-health practices more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhysical Education Pedagogies for Health
EditorsLorraine Cale, Jo Harris
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003225904
ISBN (Print)9781032127163, 9781032127170
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Focus on Sport Pedagogy

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